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[Maker Spotlight] Kensuke of Aizome Kasuri Kobo

Meet Kensuke, the Fifth Generation Owner of Aizome Kasuri Kobo and the head of indigo dyeing in the workshop.

Each day, Kensuke conducts a taste test of the indigo to check its condition, making delicate adjustments as if having a dialogue with the dye.

Since fermenting indigo is a living organism, great care must be taken to keep it alive and healthy. This includes adjusting the temperature of the fermentation pots throughout the year, and following a specific order when dyeing. 

Dyeing cotton in vats of indigo

While honoring the methods inherited from his father, Kensuke builds upon decades of experience to create unique indigo-inspired innovations.

To obtain the subtle gradations and deep blue color that Aizome Kasuri Kobo fabrics are known for, pieces must be dyed over and over again, sometimes as many as 40 times. 

Indigo dyed strings used for weaving

While hand-dyeing and hand-weaving are time-consuming and laborious processes, the efforts and expertise of Kensuke and his family are seen through the beautiful work they produce.

Kurume Kasuri hanging to dry outside the workshop

Learn more about Aizome Kasuri Kobo and join a tour to try indigo dyeing yourself: here!

Intricate patterns woven by Kensuke’s father

Participate in Aizome Kasuri Kobo’s tour and indigo dying experience: Make Your Very Own Indigo Art at Aizome Kasuri Kobo (2hrs)

Photos: Koichiro Fujimoto